We've seen too many high-profile calamities of websites going down in a major way—whether Target's, Ann Taylor's, Twitter's, or Facebook's. It's painful to watch, and certainly it must be far more painful to experience from the inside.
And, of course, such intermittent events aren't limited to retailers or big names, which are merely the ones that get the most press. Lost revenues and tarnished corporate and personal images don't discriminate by industry sector or company size. Online disasters can happen to anyone. And the last thing any of us wants or needs is bad press and irate customers.
More subtle than such blatant disasters, and in the long-term possibly more costly (and unnecessarily so), is poor or nonoptimal website performance that goes undetected.
Why Underperforming Websites Aren't Improved
By now, we know that degradation of website response times equates to lost revenue, and, similarly, improvements in website response times translate directly into revenue gains. For example, a two-second increase in response time reduced revenue per user 4.3% for Bing; and a five-second decrease in response time resulted in a 7-12% increase in revenue for Shopzilla.
You might have heard all this before... So why hasn't much of anything changed? Well, knowing of an issue is one thing, but having the time, authority, and tools to identify and fix the problem is something else entirely.
Many, if not most, marketers are understandably too busy with daily tasks and objectives (creating campaigns and tracking them, creating or increasing awareness, and maintaining or increasing inbound leads) to be able to properly focus on "customer perceived performance" (CPP). That lack of focus is particularly apparent among small and midsize businesses; but, even in large enterprises, too often the focus of Web analytics is on the more attention-getting aspects of it that don't deal with CPP.
As for the issue of authority, although CPP's impact is on Marketing, the determinant of it—Web performance—is generally housed within the IT department... Hello, efficient operation's old nemesis: departmental silos!